Mundus Vini and ProWine Join Forces in Tokyo

The first ProWine Tokyo took place with nearly 200 exhibitors from 20 regions. Germany's leading wine competition MUNDUS VINI, organised by Meininger Verlag, took some of its winning wines to Japan.

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First time: ProWine and MUNDUS VINI in Tokyo
First time: ProWine and MUNDUS VINI in Tokyo

Joint forces in Japan

The Mundus Vini tasting area has long been one of the key attractions of ProWein in Dusseldorf, offering visitors the chance to sample a range of award-winning wines. This month, the competition and the trade fair joined forces again, for the first time in Japan. The first ProWine fair to be held in Tokyo took place alongside a number of other B2B trade fairs for food and beverages, e.g. FABEX, ISM Japan and ANUGA Select.

ProWine attracted 5,500 visitors and 197 exhibitors from Armenia, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Moldova, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, Ukraine, the USA as well as Japan. Seventy-seven percent of the 925 brands on show were looking for Japanese distribution.

Christian Wolf, director of MUNDUS VINI with taster Kumi Ueno, who works for Wine Curation.
Christian Wolf, director of MUNDUS VINI with taster Kumi Ueno, who works for Wine Curation.
Over 1,000 visitors visited the MUNDUS VINI tasting area to discover wines already available in Japan and those that would like to be represented on the Japanese market.
Over 1,000 visitors visited the MUNDUS VINI tasting area to discover wines already available in Japan and those that would like to be represented on the Japanese market.

The MUNDUS VINI Tasting Lounge presented 103 awarded wines from the 7,500 that were recently tasted by the competition judges, including 15 examples from MUNDUS VINI NON-ALCOHOLIC. The competition director, Christian Wolf said he was very encouraged by the level of interest from a wide range of Japanese professionals. "This is acknowledged to be a very mature market" he said, adding that "the level of wine knowledge is impressively high." 

"Japanese consumers are open to unfamiliar countries and regions", he continued, "but they are very quality-conscious, so medals from a serious international competition like ours are very appreciated". Wolf added that the non-alcoholic wines were perhaps of the greatest interest because of their lack of familiarity in the Japanese market.

 

All MUNDUS VINI wines were accompanied by factsheets with relevant information and the familiar spider's web diagram.
All MUNDUS VINI wines were accompanied by factsheets with relevant information and the familiar spider's web diagram.

Good basis for 2025

Exhibitors such as Sandrine Krummenacher from Business France, which was represented by 26 exhibitors from all French regions, praised the good organisation. Johannes Leitz from the LEITZ winery in Germany agreed: "ProWine Tokyo stands for German precision and expertise in Japan. It is just as well organised as the 'original' ProWein in Germany." The quality of the contacts was also rated positively, for example by Patrick Bigar, Champagne Bigar: "Our aim was to find an importer in Japan and I think that ProWine Tokyo was an ideal platform for this."

Akiko Ohara, General Manager of Messe Düsseldorf Japan Ltd, and Peter Schmitz, Director of ProWein jointly issued a statement saying that “The market for wine and spirits in Japan is very promising and offers good business opportunities... ProWine Tokyo got off to a very good start this year and we will continue to work on this basis for the next edition in 2025."

Japanese Wine Market

Rising inflation and growing health awareness are leading to a decline in consumption, but demand for innovative and high-quality products remains high. Wine consumption totaled 3,550,000 hl in 2021.

Japan produces limited volumes of its own wine, but uses imported concentrate or bulk wine to allow it to label nearly a quarter of the wine on sale as 'Japanese'. Genuine Japanese wine is sold at a premium price. Chile, France, Italy, Spain and the US were the top 5 importing countries in 2023.

 ProWine information board at the fair

Information board at the fair

Sustainability is gaining importance, especially with GenZ. When questioned, almost 65% of consumers aged 20-29 said they were aware of the environmental and social impact of products used and consumed on a daily basis.

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Japan suffers from the crisis just as every country does. Yet, it has shown considerable resilience. Roddy Ropner gives a market overview.

 

 

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